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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Absolutely Anything (Terry Jones)

When some aliens - who travel from planet to planet to see what kind of species inhabit them - come to Earth, they decide that, if they are, according to their standards, decent, they will remain alive, otherwise the planet will be destroyed. To find that out, they choose one inhabitant and give that person the power to do whatever he/she wants. They choose Neil Clarke, a teacher constantly being berated by the headmaster and attracted to his neighbour, Catherine, although he does not have the guts to approach her.
Now that he can do absolutely anything, he must be careful.

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Simon Pegg, Robin Williams, Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Rob Riggle, Joanna Lumley, Eddie Izzard, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Alexa Davies, Meera Syal, Emma Pierson, Sanjeev Bhaskar

Why I loved this film: The trailer was too great, which had me interested straight away. The plot line alone, the ability to grant any wish you want to come true, had me intrigued. This movie does a good job at keeping you wondering throughout. A few of his wishes were clever and made me really wonder 'what would I wish for?'
The weakest part, I would have to say, is the ending. You will not walk out of this movie thinking 'Oh my gosh Simon Pegg just delivered the best performance in his entire career' but, that does not mean it was bad. The acting was good, the editing was fine, and overall, I would recommend it to anyone - but it will not be the best film you have ever seen.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Minions (Directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin; Written by Brian Lynch)

The story of the Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters - from T-Rex to Napoleon -, the Minions find themselves without someone to serve, and fall into a deep depression. But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he - alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob - ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill, the world's first female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960's New York City, ending up in modern London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind... from annihilation.

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders, Geoffrey Rush, Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin

Why I loved this film: It is a family night out. Pack your bags everyone and go to your nearest cinema to see the Minions. You will not find a better family film then this. It is a comedy for all ages.
The Minions are cute and funny. And there is also a great cast that you will never forget.
So go and buy some popcorn, and get yourself ready for a lot of fun!

La Famille Bélier (Eric Lartigau)

The Béliers are ordinary people: Rodolphe and Gigi are married, they have two children and run their farm for a living. Ordinary people? Well, almost... since three of them, Dad, Mum, and their son Quentin, are deaf. Which is not the case for big sister, Paula. And not only can she speak but her music teacher scouts her beautiful voice as well. He offers her to sit for the entrance exam of the Maîtrise de Radio France, a vocal elite choir in Paris. Her parents, who rely on her as their mouth and ears, take the news badly. Paula, who hates the idea of betraying her family, goes through a painful dilemma...

Starring: Karin Viard, François Damiens, Eric Elmosnino, Louane Emera, Roxane Duran, Ilian Bergala, Luca Gelberg

Why I loved this film: I am not fleeing, I am flying. Understand it well, I am flying!
There are times when a film can hit close to home making it hard to review objectively because it has spoken to you in a very personal manner. That is the case with this French film.
I no longer live with my parents, but they are still everything to me. it is just that sometimes you have to make your own choices and live your own life.
Louane Emera has a beautiful voice and she really delivers a natural and touching performance in the lead role. I had no trouble caring for her character, so it really worked.
This film manages to be funny and sad at the same time, it even had me crying in the end.
The music also works extremely well. Karin Viard and François Damiens had great chemistry together and provided most of the comedy in the film.
La Famille Bélier is a very charming, feel-good movie full of funny and sincerely touching moments.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (Christopher McQuarrie)

CIA chief Hunley convinces a Senate committee to disband the IMF, of which Ethan Hunt is a key member. Hunley argues that the IMF is too reckless. Now on his own, Hunt goes after a shadowy and deadly rogue organisation called the Syndicate.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Simon McBurney, Simon McBurney, Alec Baldwin, Hermione Corfield

Why I loved this film: It is one of the best action films I have seen. The story is clever and action packed. The photography is amazing, and the music is fantastic.
I was not disappointed by the stunt work, and the action and chase sequences are as exciting as any I have seen.
The characters are well-defined and engaging.
The female lead deserves particular mention, since Ilsa Faust is a wonderful blend of intelligence, beauty and strength, and definitely an action figure to watch out for.
Overall, this film offers everything you want in an action movie. Definitely a 'must see'!

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Killing Monica (Candace Bushnell)

When P.J. Wallis, creator of peachy-skinned, button-nosed good-time girl Monica (of 'Monica: a girl's guide to being a girl', its three sequels, and four movies) was christened Pandemonia, someone must have been looking into a crystal ball. She might have been born into faded elegance in a dilapidated mansion in the Hudson Valley, but after years of struggle, Pandy Wallis - the fabulously successful author - is cutting a swathe through Manhattan, leaving a trail of trashed pool clubs, shrieking girlfriends, and empty pink-champagne bottles in her wake. And then there are the men: if it is not movie star Doug Stone, with his chiselled jaw and megawatt smile, it is darkly glamorous celebrity chef husband Jonny Balaga, who brings some very specialised skills to Pandy's table.
But as a Monica billboard raises its head above the New York skyline, all is not well in P.J. Wallis' world. Jonny Balaga has sunk his teeth into her earnings, her loyal agent Henry is losing patience, and her soul sister, sidekick and saviour - actress SondraBeth Schnowzer (who also happens to play Monica) - has betrayed her. Worst of all, P.J. Wallis has had enough of her lucrative alter ego. Yearning to return to her roots, she dodges divorce lawyers, lightning strikes, and a giant revolving Lazy Susan. It begins to look like the only way out for Pandemonia is killing Monica - even if it kills her too.

Quote: "Pandy felt an unpleasant click and realized that she was jealous. This was not good. It had taken but one kiss to stir up all those scrambled feelings of being in love with Doug - feelings that she rationally knew weren't real, but which were capable of causing pain nonetheless."

My thoughts on this book: Firstly, let me say that I like Bushnell's sharp, satirical style in general. I loved all her previous books.
However, there are some issues with this one:
All the characters are despicable. The lead, Pandy, is a selfish party girl who rushes from crisis to crisis and falls victim to the 'why me' syndrome. Her best friend is kind of a trailer trash heroine who does not seem like someone any of us would want in our lives for long.
The Monica fans are portrayed as mobs of women mindlessly loving the perfect Monica and refusing to accept anything but more of the same from PJ.
After all the recent gay right issues, a transgendered character is thought to be in Amsterdam in order to cover the secret that she is now a man. I mean, this is 2015! Move with the times!
If only we had a reason for such secrecy... but we do not!
And finally, there seems to be a lot missing from the story. Who is Monica? Why is she so delightful?
Even Lady Wallis (the reason for her recent novel) is disposed of in two lines so that the author can cram in surrealistic scenes of crazed fans, drunken vacation fights, a very confusing section where the heroine goes back and forth on pretending to be her own sister - depending on the person she is talking to -, and some scene where her husband gets punished in the end, which I kind of skipped, not knowing what was actually happening there.
There were parts where Candace Bushnell seemed to go back to her routes of good-writing, P.J.'s feelings about being a singleton and her falling in love with Jonny, but that did not last very long.
Overall, I was very disappointed.

Trainwreck (Directed by Judd Apatow; Written by Amy Schumer)



Since she was a little girl, it has been drilled into Amy's head by her rascal of a dad that monogamy is not realistic. Now a magazine writer, Amy lives by that credo - enjoying a life free from boring romantic commitment - but in reality, she is kind of in a rut. When Amy finds herself starting to fall for the subject of the new article she is writing, a charming and successful sports doctor named Aaron Conners, this trainwreck starts to wonder if other grown-ups may be on to something.



Starring: Colin Quinn, Devin Fabry, Carla Oudin, Amy Schumer, John Cena, Vanessa Bayer, Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, Brie Larson, Bill Hader, LeBron James, Daniel Radcliffe, Marisa Tomei, Matthew Broderick

My thoughts on this film: Amy Schumer is a very likeable comedian. Her scenes are replete with comedic undertones and most of the humour is brainy, personal, and sweet.
If you are not into seeing scenes of fully nude bodies, like wrestler Jon Cena making love to Amy, this is too gross and vulgar for you. However, it sets the film up to show an otherwise likeable and successful girl who just wants to get it all in. Live the full NY experience. But a little too full. Amy works and has to come up with stories for a Men's magazine that is nothing but crude.
Tilda Swinton is completely unrecognisable as the also funny Head of the magazine.
Amy drinks and is pretty much out of control, wanting no future entanglements with any man. This is all in contrast to her sister, who is married to a nerdy guy, but lovable, decent, and happy to be a stepmother to her husband's son, who is a character himself.
The story is also led by LeBron, who can act as naturally as any actor I have seen - well, he is acting as himself.
The humour in this story seems natural, although Amy relies on one-liners.
Overall, it is nothing out-of-this-world, but a good laugh and a good time!